Myrtaceae (myrtle family) Callistemon

Callistemon citrinus lemon bottlebrush


Callistemon citrinus, which has a less weeping habit than C. viminalis, can be seen at the Fire Station, Escondido Village, and West Campus Drive in median by Cogen. Several newer plantings (Summer 2007) are seen in the Greenbelt about 200 yards south of Stanford Ave on the west side of the path; these trees are staked.

A tall shrub or small tree, 10 to 30 feet high. Leaves narrow, about 3–4 inches long, sharp-pointed at the apex; coppery when new, mature leaves are vivid green and smooth on both surfaces, the midrib and lateral veins prominent. Flower-clusters 2 to 4 inches long, bright red, the stamens about 1 inch long. Capsules ovoid, contracted at the summit. Frequently cultivated in gardens and parks.

adapted from Howard E. McMinn & Evelyn Maino, An Illustrated Manual of Pacific Coast Trees, 2d ed. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.

· Callistemon and Melaleuca: Key to Species

Name derivation: Callistemon – Greek kalli, beautiful, and stemon, a stamen, in reference to the characteristic long, showy stamens; citrinus – lemony, scent of crushed leaves.

About this Entry: The text of this entry is by John Rawlings (c. 2005).